The Washington Capitals have signed forward Damien Riat to a two-year entry level contract, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today. Riat’s contract will carry an average annual value of $817,500.
Riat missed two months this season due to a severe concussion, but since his return has been heating up, including 5 goals in 2 games.
“We have been closely working together with the Capitals’ organization for three years. It is our joint decision that Damien is ready for this important next step in his career.” said Frédéric Holdener, Riat’s agent.
Damien Riat is extremely excited to start this new challenge: “I played in North America at a young age and always dreamed to go back there. I had a good camp with the Capitals this past summer. It is a true honor to be signed by this organization who have such a great team.”
#CapsProspect Damien Riat with 5th goal in last two games. After missing two months with concussion, Riat is making a late surge. His contract with EHC Bienne Biel expires at end of season. pic.twitter.com/M7SkCkalTY
— NoVa Caps (@NoVa_Caps) March 1, 2020
This season, the native of Genève recorded 22 points in 36 games with EHC Biel. Over the course of his career, Riat already suited up 248 times with the Seeländers and Genève-Servette HC, collecting 114 points. Moreover, Riat won the silver medal with the Swiss national team in the 2018 World Championships.
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The Capitals selected Riat with their fourth-round pick, 117th overall, in the 2016 NHL Draft.
Riat, 23, has recorded 22 points (11g, 11a) in 36 games with EHC Biel-Bienne in the National League in Switzerland this season. The 6’0”, 180-pound forward leads EHC Biel-Bienne in penalty minutes (57) and ranks fifth on the team in goals. In 223 career games in the National League, Riat has recorded 106 points (50g, 56a).
Prior to the National League, the Geneva, Switzerland, native played two seasons in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League, winning the league championship with Notre Dame in 2013-14. Riat played 40 games with Malmö’s U-20 affiliate in Sweden’s SuperElit in the 2014-15 season, registering 14 points (7g, 7a) and made his debut in Sweden’s professional Allsvenskan league as a 17 year old that same season.
Riat earned a silver medal with Switzerland at the 2018 IIHF World Championship, posting a +1 plus/minus rating in six games played. Riat also represented Switzerland at the 2016 and 2017 World Junior Championships, recording a combined 10 points (3g, 7a) in 11 games in the two tournaments.
For more information on Damien Riat, or other Capitals prospects, please visit our “Prospects” page here, or in the top menu.
By Jon Sorensen
Capitals were at a final decision point on Riat. His contract with EHC Biel Benne expires at the end of the season. Riat missed two months of the season due to a concussion, but since his return has been playing well, scored five goals in his last two games. A good move, he will be in Hershey in September.